Katrina Response

The response of everyday folks to those
affected by Katrina is not only inspiriing, it’s instructive.

The response of everyday folks to those affected by Katrina is not only inspiring, it’s instructive.

What I find most encouraging is the spirit of compassion that hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated by volunteering, taking people into their homes and contributing to relief efforts. It’s more than inspiring, it’s also instructive.

It’s a tacit expression that there is a reservoir of compassion and community that we don’t always see in the course of our day-to-day affairs.

What strikes me is how people mobilized spontaneously. They didn’t wait for someone in Washington or New York to call them together, they just stepped out in faith and did it. It’s humbling and inspiring.

There is hope in this response, and much more. There is the potential for a re-awakening of our need for responsive, competent government; the recognition that government is about all of us. There is hope that we will understand leadership in a new way. A major function of leadership is about serving the the common good.

We may re-learn that we are strong when we work together and we are vulnerable when we exclude and divide.

These remarkable volunteers are embodying a new understanding of compassionate community, a community of generosity, justice and inclusion. I pray we will not only be inspired but that we will also, to paraphrase Ghandi, be moved to create the change we want to see in the world.

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